Just when travel brands thought they might have a handle on how to use social media during a crisis... Live videos come along.
The advent of live video streaming services have ensured that any communication strategy during an incident needs to take note of travellers who may be armed with a smartphone and broadcasting events in real-time.
Such services from the likes of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter-run Periscope and Live.ly (sister app of the popular Music.ly) allow users to "go live" with any video content they like, at any time.
Whilst there is only a scintilla value attached to watching a video of someone eating their morning bagel on the way to work, such opportunities present a real issue for travel brands when they are already dealing with an incident in real-time of their own.
Dennis Owen, group manager for social media at Cathay Pacific, says "everyone is a reporter nowadays", meaning that crisis management should include those outside of the media who are acting as "on-the-ground" reporters during an incident.
Speaking at the Aviation Festival in London last week, Owen says the same management principles should apply with live video as they do throughout any crisis-based activity on social media.
Whilst there is a natural tendency to be reactive with such content, Owen argues that live videos also offer an airline the opportunity to be proactive - perhaps by making live videos of their own, with key executives broadcasting what they know and how they are dealing with a situation.
These would inevitably be picked up by both mainstream media and customers, thus giving a brand the chance to not only get its message across but also present the facts as they stand (avoiding heresay).
Where there is a debate to be had is in an airline's strategy regarding on-board wifi (the means by which an individual could broadcast live during an incident).
Part of any policy around crisis communications should include whether to advise pilots to switch off an aircraft's wifi, for example, so that passengers are unable to broadcast live or connect with social media.
This, however, can contrast awkwardly with the idea of a company's strategy to be transparent when something untoward is happening.
A wifi connection on-board can ensure that passengers are able to also see official messages from the carrier.
Nick Key, CEO of 15below, a specialist and tech provider in travel brand-customer communications, says airlines are "no longer the gate-keeper of news and messaging relating to their brand", so preparation for such eventualities is key.
"Whether you are responding to a crisis or just negative brand sentiment, having the tools and process in place to respond quickly, and to coordinate communications between staff, travellers and media across multiple channels, is essential to take control of the situation.
Westjet, for example, "has a host of canned messages scripted for every eventuality ready to go if and when the need arises", Key adds.
"With Live Video streaming and social, those vital few minutes saved can make all the difference."
Alongside the rise of live video has been the increase in popularity of real-time flight tracking websites, such as FlightRadar24.
Owen says when it had an incident of its own in July 2015 (an emergency landing for CX884 in Alaska), FlightRadar24 tweeted the presence of an emergency signal from the aircraft within minutes.
That particular incident included a video from a British passenger on-board (it wasn't "live", just uploaded once he had a connection on the ground), who recorded the various moments leading up to its emergency landing.
Owen says traditional forms of crisis management have gone by the wayside in recent years, with staff now expected to be able to handle the situation with messages to social media channels within minutes (rather than when they can get to an office).
The so-called "storm-chaser" phenomenon, where people will race to where an incident is taking place (or in the event of an aircraft emergency landing, an airport), also needs be handled so that messaging is consistent from members of staff on the ground as well as in digital world.
But, perhaps most importantly, Owen urges companies to have a position and policy in place now, perhaps with a crisis management toolkit, rather than trying to figure out what to do about a live video during an actual incident.
He also suggests companies ensure they have a policy for how they will communicate messages internally to members of staff (Cathay uses Yammer), many of whom would be concerned about colleagues and naturally turn to social media to get information.